Sister Death is the prequel to the 2017 Spanish drama Veronica. The prequel, as the name suggests, delves into the life of Sister Narcisa, or Sister Death, as she was named by the school students. From a young age, Narcisa was blessed with the power to see beyond reality, and she was dubbed the ‘Holy Girl.’ During the Spanish Civil War and the unleashing of Red Terror, Narcisa evolved to become the only hope of believers when she was claimed to have a connection with divine power. Ten years later, Narcisa joined a convent as a novice nun. The bullet marks on the walls of the convent were a reminder of the shameful past, but Narcisa claimed to not remember much about it as a little girl. It suggested that Narcisa had dissociated herself from the ‘Holy Girl’ and that her visions were no longer as clear as they used to be. As soon as Narcisa entered the school, a marble that rolled in her direction caught her attention. Someone was trying to contact her, but who was it?
What were the rumors that Narcisa learned about?
Soon after settling down, Narcisa discovered a box with letters, a picture of Sister Socorro, and a pair of scissors. The moment she took a look at the picture, the chair in her room fell to the ground. She could hear a loud banging on her door, and someone drew the hangman stick figure on the wall. The next morning in class, students whispered as she wrote her name on the board. Later, she learned that the ones who wrote their names were targeted by a dark spirit who lived within the school premises. Narcisa initially tried to be logical about it, but she gradually admitted that there was something strange going on at the school. She had vivid nightmares, and she always woke up in panic. She was all the more concerned when one of her students claimed to have seen a spirit that they called the ‘Little Girl.’
Rosa had seen a child’s face in the bathtub water, and the same pair of scissors that were left in Narcisa’s room were found beside the bathtub. Sister Julia dismissed Rosa’s claim and punished her for fear-mongering. Narcisa believed in Rosa because, as a little girl, she too could see things that those around her did not. Instead of dismissing her, she wanted to find out the reason behind the supernatural events. Rosa refused to tell the truth because Sister Ines, the nun who was there before Narcisa, also approached the entire situation logically, but she ended up becoming the target of the evil spirits. When sister Ines drew the last leg on a game of hangman, the spirits haunted her, and she left out of fear. Rosa explained that if the spirit wrote someone’s name on the board, it meant that they would be the next target.
Rosa’s name was written on the board the next morning in class, and she was visibly tense. Narcisa promised to protect Rosa no matter what, but to do so, she needed to confront the spirits. She and Rosa together drew the last leg of the game of hangman. Rosa could see the spirit in the room, but Narcisa could not. When Narcisa turned her back to see the spirit, Rosa went missing. Julia blamed Narcisa for risking Rosa’s life for her own selfish reasons. Narcisa frantically searched for the little girl, and the dark spirit played games with her through hallucinations. By the time Narcisa came to her senses, she found Rosa’s body hanging from the ceiling. The students and the nuns mourned Rosa’s demise, and Narcisa held herself responsible for her inability to protect Rosa. It was a solar eclipse, the perfect time to summon dark spirits. Narcisa left the school with her suitcase in hand, but there was something about the eclipse that made her stop and look directly at the sun. She either wanted to destroy herself, or she hoped to offer her vision to be able to look beyond reality, like she did as a child.
Who were sister Socorro and the little girl?
The mystery behind all the supernatural events was rooted in the death of Socorro. When Narcisa exposed her eyes to the harmful rays of the sun during the solar eclipse, she was granted the power to see beyond her reality. She was taken back in time, during the civil war, when the convent was looted and plundered. During this time, a nun was raped by a raider, and Narcisa realized that the nun was Socorro. She carried the child of the rapist and gave birth. Meanwhile, Julia was frightened when she realized Narcisa’s vision was guiding her to the past. There were secrets that Julia, Sagrario, and Mother Superior were hiding, and they were afraid of Narcisa uncovering them. Julia brought Narcisa back to her room. Her eyes had turned gray and swollen; she had been waiting for a signal from God telling her that she was meant to dedicate her life to Christ, and finally, her vision confirmed that she was on the right track.
With the help of the picture she had of Socorro, Narcisa was once again transported to the past. She could feel the pain and suffering that Socorro had experienced, and the nuns at the convent did not make her life any easier. They believed her situation would bring only shame to the convent, and they decided to always hide Socorro and her baby girl. After witnessing the suffering of the nun, Narcisa sympathizes with her. Socorro’s body approached Narcisa in reality, and they held onto each other. Through Socorro’s touch, Narcisa witnessed the ultimate injustice that she had faced after the birth of her daughter. Julia, Sagrario, and Mother Superior took Socorro’s daughter away from her when she suffered from a fever. She needed medical attention, but the nuns decided that they could not let the young girl tarnish the reputation of the convent. Taking her to the outside world meant garnering attention, so they decided to bring down her temperature by bathing her with cold water. The little girl was confused, and she resisted. During the struggle, Socorro’s daughter suffered an injury, and she died on the spot. This explained who the little girl Rosa talked about was and why supernatural phenomena occurred each time Narcisa came across Sister Socorro’s picture. Socorro haunted every novice nun who was yet to take the vows (Ines and Narcisa), and it can be interpreted as her attempting to drive them away from the suffering that she had to endure at the convent, though, of course, this does not justify the killing of children.
How was peace restored?
When Socorro realized that her daughter did not survive, she committed suicide in the same room where Narcisa lived. The chair dropping can be connected to Socorro’s death as well. During Sister Death‘s ending, Socorro’s spirit expresses her desire to seek revenge on all those who wronged her and her daughter. She wanted vengeance, and she had been tormenting souls to experience a sense of fulfillment. The truth behind the school haunting was the tragic story of a mother and her daughter. Narcisa realized that the only way to bring peace would be by reuniting Socorro with her child by going to the past. She unlocked the door and allowed her to leave, and this resulted in a chain of events that impacted the present. The past timeline gets altered, and that results in the present chaos. Socorro haunted Julia and ultimately attacked her to death. Sister Sagrario and Mother Superior lived through a similar experience, and their lives came to a tragic end. The death of the three nuns was the only way to bring peace, and Narcisa prioritized uniting the mother and the daughter at the cost of three lives. She was convinced that she was carrying out her divine duty and doing only what she believed was right.
Sister Death explains why Narcisa went blind and how it, in a way, helped her connect with the world of the spirits that was beyond the comprehension of common people. The prequel also goes on to show why the Holy Girl decided to follow the path of Christ. While Narcisa brought justice to Socorro and her daughter in the film, she did not hesitate to bring destruction and unleash violence. At the end of Sister Death, Narcisa is introduced to a classroom full of young students. Present among the students was Veronica, and we got a sneak peek into the inevitable.